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Policy and strategies: what is our objective?

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The Role of Policy in Education

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A policy in favour of quality of learning is an undertaking by the authorities to offer to each individual a quality education responding to the needs of his social, and later, professional environment. To realize this long-term vision, strategies that group together all the programmes and specific actions designed must be defined and coordinated with a goal of bringing an appropriate response to the stakes identified in the sector analysis.

Through the creation and meticulous examination of an explicit causal chain, a dedicated work group can bring appropriate responses to learning questions. This chain shows the problems and weaknesses, as well as an understanding of the factors which influence learning, leading to determining the actions to take and selecting policies to consider. Public debates on the question also allow clarification of critical aspects.

 

At the end of the process, policy priorities are translated into key strategies related to objectives and precise results indicators which measure the system’s learning quality. Integration of the monitoring process in the planning cycle thus guarantees the creation of a results-based management system.

 

Let’s take an example: in the imaginary country of Eruditus, the diagnosis revealed a low level of instruction for primary school students. The decision-makers may consider several strategies and related policy responses to resolvethisproblem:

 . Strategic option No. 1: promote a reading and literacy culture in households and communities.

 . Strategic option No. 2: increase primary school teachers’ minimum teaching skills.

 . Strategic option No. 3: motivate teachers by granting a bonus to those whose students have an appropriate reading    level and penalizing those whose students have less good results.

 . Strategic option No. 4: reinforce support for teaching reading methods for teachers whose students do not have reading capacities required for their level.

 . Strategic option No. 5: give students the possibility of reading more at school by allocating necessary resources and   time dedicated to reading.

 

A definitive and consistent version of the educational plan offering a harmonious system of priorities and strategies will be available only after an exercise of financial projections and development of budgeted action plans. It is then that the decision-makers will be able to decide on the most reasonable scenario and revise policies and strategies depending on the recognized activities and costs.